EML’s perspective on later life differs from others in that we take a holistic view of a client’s future and in doing so we help them find their own answers to the question ‘Why?’ All too often you find are fobbed off with the glib answer ‘because it’s a good thing’ – but who for?!

Presenting to a meeting of retired businessmen I asked them to draw a graph of their net worth over time. All were the war generation or baby-boomers and their graphs showed their assets growing right to the point they didn’t expect to be around. The next calculation was more painful – what was their likely inheritance tax bill and were they happy to pay this voluntary tax from their already taxed assets? Having significant wealth is always a good thing for those you ask to look after it, but what good is it doing you?

To be clear I am not advocating ‘giving it all away’, in fact I am naturally cautious, but I do believe in putting it to work. The excellent financial advisers I meet take the same approach. They will estimate the likely expenditure needed to support your lifestyle, build in a significant safety margin and then, if there are assets remaining, break out the wand and help you to make magic.

Making magic is very different from throwing money around. It’s about spending time with the people who are important to you, finding out their dreams, plans and ambitions and, if you approve, using your surplus funds to make them come true. Rarely do you ‘buy it for them’ (whatever ‘it’ is and whoever ‘they’ are) instead it’s about helping with a deposit, funding a training course or buying an essential item. Matching is a great way to make a difference – for every pound they save you add another. They still need the drive and enthusiasm, you just add the sparkle. If they want a car, help them to buy a better one. If they are saving for a house – help out with the deposit. If they dream of going on safari, make it easier. And it’s not just individuals – clubs, charities and societies may be on your radar

At the end of the day these are funds that you have decided you are unlikely to need, so why not put them to work. If you are uncertain about parting with the cash, offer the money as an interest free loan – you are still making magic happen!

Written by John Small

John’s business career started in the technology sector working with ICL and Fujitsu before moving to International Finance where organisational change and development has been a constant theme.